What Abbie Duggar's Life Was Like Before Marrying John David

Abbie Duggar (née Burnett) joined forces with the Duggar clan when she married John David Duggar on November 3, 2018. Abbie and John David have managed to remain one of the favorites amongst the many Duggar couples because they did things their own way. Their courtship broke with family tradition in one specific way; they gave each other more physical affection before marriage than many Duggar couples have had during courtship. Part of their rebelliousness, if we can call it that, was because Abbie and John David were older than the average Duggar family member when they tied the knot. Abbie was 26 and John David was 28 when they said, "I do," according to In Touch Weekly.

Of course, by contemporary standards, that's not exactly old. But considering John David's younger brother Justin Duggar and Claire Spivey married when Justin was only 18, John David and Abbie were practically middle-aged. Because Abbie was older when she married, she had a lot going on before becoming a Duggar.

Abbie's childhood was a lot like the Duggars were raised

Before she was a Duggar, Abbie Burnett lived in Southern Oklahoma with her huge family. On a blog site — that has since been deleted — the Burnett family updated friends on the comings and goings of parents Johnny and Cheryl Burnett, and their eight children: John-Clay, Hannah, Caleb, Abbie, Charity, twins Maggie and Carinna, and Benjamin.

The blog was full of cute snapshots of the Burnett family, including photos of their trip to Big Sandy, Texas, for a homeschooling event. This is something that the Burnett family certainly had in common with the Duggar family. Michelle Duggar spoke with AOP Christian Homeschooling in 2012 about the experience of homeschooling her brood of 19 kids. She stressed the importance of not over-extending the family. "We spend approximately four hours a day in formal schooling in core subjects with additional music lessons," Michelle said. "Most of all, have fun and just enjoy the gift of your children and the process of learning together."

The Burnett family seems to follow a similar life philosophy. In addition to homeschooling, the Burnetts, including Abbie, followed a similar dress code. The photos on the family blog all featured the women wearing long skirts and modest blouses.

Abbie was a nurse before she married John David

Abbie Duggar was a practical nursing student at Pontotoc Technology Center, according to The Ada News, in 2017. Interestingly, Abbie didn't always have nursing on her mind; it was her beloved grandparents who inspired the idea. "Growing up, I never even considered the idea of becoming a nurse," she explained, per Romper. "But once my grandparents got terminally sick, I got to interact with nurses at the hospital, hospice, and home health nurses, and that's really what sparked the idea of becoming a nurse."

However, when Abbie married John David and started a family — they welcomed their first child, daughter Grace on January 7, 2020, according to In Touch Weekly — she decided to step away from her career. They welcomed their second child, son Charlie, in September 2022, as they shared via Instagram. In a "Counting On" clip shared with Romper, Abbie said, "I just love taking care of people. But I left my job a couple months ago so that I could plan for the wedding." She continued, "I do hope to go back to nursing one day, especially so I can keep up my license and my skills." So it looks like Abbie may step back into her career when her brood gets older.